Pardot is an incredibly complex and powerful tool when maintained and constantly optimised. It can automate multiple business processes, transform your acquisition piece and drive brand evangelism amongst existing customers. However, when it is left neglected it’s easy for progress to slow to a halt. An audit is an effective way to keep you on track.
When I first starting working on Pardot a few years ago I saw audits as trivial, daunting, cumbersome… You get the gist. I now believe that every Pardot account needs to do an audit once a quarter to ensure that their marketing automation is fulfilling its purpose. The results and findings of an audit enable you to define a list of actionable tasks to improve your use of the system. It’s always beneficial to step back and take a view on what is and isn’t working before agreeing how to proceed. Furthermore, it’s a great opportunity to get the broader team more involved with your marketing automation programs.
Taking the time to audit your account should be seen as a worthwhile investment that provides a holistic view of the system. By completing this exercise you’re able to review your work, make improvements to your account and elicit new ideas. These can then be used to forge the ongoing marketing automation strategy.
Here are 7 reasons for auditing your Pardot account.
1. Ensure all systems are talking to each other.
A huge selling point of Pardot is its seamless bi-synchronous relationship with Salesforce. An audit highlights any cracks in the sync that can be rectified with a bit of care and attention. The most successful Pardot users are those who make sure all fields are behaving correctly. If all records are up to date, prospects will only ever trigger automation that is relevant to them.
2. Benefit from a strong filing strategy
This exercise enables you to structure the platform for growth. A strong filing strategy will make it easy to find historic data on past campaigns, manage assets and benefit from scoring categories. It’s important to point out that scoring categories is a Pro and Ultimate feature, although this exercise is still beneficial for Standard users who may eventually want this feature turned on.
Follow the steps below to start utilising the scoring category feature and start aligning point distribution with your campaigns.
Step 1: Visualise your filing strategy. It doesn’t have to look complicated.
Step 2: Build the plan into Pardot and apply the scoring categories.
Step 3: Benefit from detailed insights from within the Prospect’s record.
Tip: You can build automation around a scoring category score. For example, someone with over 100 Audit category points will get sent into our Audit service Engagement Program.
3. Visualise the Customer Journey
If you haven’t done so already, a visual map of the customer journey should be drawn up that illustrates all of the potential routes a prospect could go through, all the way through to becoming a customer. This helps you to understand how everything ties together and can determine where you add in new Engagement Studio’s, highlight where the exit points are and assists in addressing any areas that might be underperforming.
Example customer journey map
4. Understand the lead management process
Similarly to the customer journey mapping, this magnifies the area of the map where leads are assigned and distributed. Or put another way, how prospects transfer from being nurtured by marketing in Pardot to being managed by sales in your CRM.
This is an opportunity to look at how leads are qualified, what information is being used as part of the lead assignments and who these leads are going to. The below image is an example of leads being passed through Pardot and distributed to sales teams based on region, the value of the sale and the product of interest. It demonstrates how a prospect would convert into a MQL.
Lead distribution example
5. Develop a Robust Blended Scoring and Grading Model
In the words of Pardot ‘Using a blended scoring and grading model gives you a full picture of your prospects’, and they couldn’t be more right.
The insights you gain from setting up a well defined scoring and grading model are invaluable and tie in with lead qualification and distribution. As you can imagine, this is a process that may require reconfiguring as time progresses as it will naturally grow and evolve in pace with your business. An audit gives you the space and time needed to adjust this model to suit the business as it is today, and the more you do this, the more accurate the insights will be.
6. Manage Lists, Segment Prospects and a Clean up the Database
It’s fairly common for me to see a significant number of prospects within a client’s account that either haven’t been marketed to in a long time or they’ve unsubscribed at some point. Data plays a massive part of the audit and it will recognise areas where prospects either need to be archived, removed from lists or added into others. For example, I’ve seen situations where customers aren’t being filtered into the customer list which means they could end up receiving prospecting emails. I’ve also seen an account where over 30% of prospects hadn’t been marketed to for almost a year, even though they had opted in!
Why is this common? Mostly, because it’s very easy to miss if you don’t look for it. Audits force you to take a proactive approach on reviewing the data. The aim is to have every single prospect associated to at least one list as there is then less chance of anyone ‘disappearing’ into the marketing automation abyss.
7. Conclude with Actionable Recommendations
This is the medal at the end of the race, the part you have been working towards, the actionable recommendations.
Throughout the audit, you’ll have been able to take a new perspective of your account and approach it in such a way that you’ll unearth new opportunities and ways of engaging with your target audience. If there’s a gap where you could fit a new Engagement Studio in, you’ll find it.
Following the audit, you may want to sit marketing and sales in a room to discuss how they can best align the approach and help guide you in writing up the recommendations. Sales can inform you on how best to amend the scoring and grading model, point out weaknesses in the customer journey & lead distribution maps and talk through how the Salesforce-Pardot sync can be optimised to manage all prospects and accounts.
Download the Pardot Audit Checklist
To help you get started on your audit, we’ve created a Pardot audit checklist to help guide you to success. For the best results, I would recommend the below approach.
- Work through our free Pardot audit checklist here.
- If you need guidance or help with carrying out the audit, get in touch with us at Macram and we can work together.
- Write up the list of recommendations and start actioning them in a logical way, focussing on the quick wins first.
- Schedule a date in the diary for your next audit (3-4 months is a good amount of time).
I hope you find this article useful and if you require any more support with Pardot whether it be ad hoc tasks, landing page/form development, content or Engagement studio creation then please get in touch with us via our contact form here.